Why was clemency trending last week?


[el-uh-men-tl] /ˌɛl əˈmɛn tl/
of the nature of an ultimate constituent; simple; uncompounded.
pertaining to rudiments or first principles.
starkly simple, primitive, or basic:
a spare, elemental prose style; hate, lust, and other elemental emotions.
pertaining to the agencies, forces, or phenomena of physical nature:
elemental gods.
comparable to the great forces of nature, as in power or magnitude:
elemental grandeur.
of, relating to, or of the nature of the four elements, earth, water, air, and fire, or of any one of them.
pertaining to chemical elements.
Origin of elemental
1485-95; < Medieval Latin elementālis. See element, -al1
Related forms
elementally, adverb
nonelemental, adjective
nonelementally, adverb
postelemental, adjective
preelemental, adjective
subelemental, adjective
subelementally, adverb
transelemental, adjective
unelemental, adjective
unelementally, adverb
Can be confused
elemental, elementary. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for elemental
  • It fails the elemental test of any proposed solution, which is to fulfill both sides' basic needs.
  • When this elemental sulfur is burned in the air, it forms sulfur dioxide.
  • Only he has discovered another, more elemental way to explore it.
  • But with whales, people are also attracted by the elemental difference between them and us.
  • It is disappointing, then, to note the paucity of literature on one elemental experience: disappointment.
  • Sustainability is first of all an emotional summons-one that combines elemental fears with hopes of salvation.
  • We know, for instance, that minerals and the elemental substances can be thus arranged.
  • Adding to the variety are elemental powers such as fire, electricity and corrosion that pack an extra punch.
  • Or you might summon elemental creatures or engage in boss fights.
  • When selecting an iron supplement, it is important to look at the amount of elemental iron.
British Dictionary definitions for elemental


fundamental; basic; primal: the elemental needs of man
motivated by or symbolic of primitive and powerful natural forces or passions: elemental rites of worship
of or relating to earth, air, water, and fire considered as elements
of or relating to atmospheric forces, esp wind, rain, and cold
of, relating to, or denoting a chemical element
(rare) a spirit or force that is said to appear in physical form
Derived Forms
elementally, adverb
elementalism, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for elemental

late 15c., "pertaining to the four elements," from Medieval Latin elementalis, from Latin elementum (see element). Meaning "simple, uncomplicated" is from 1550s; that of "relating to first principles" is from 1570s. The noun in the occult sense is from 1877.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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